October 22, 2008
Dry Conditions Fuel Fires in SoCal, Utah
Firefighters in Southern California said they holding their own against a wildfire that broke out east of Los Angeles as dangerous weather conditions set in.
The blaze in San Bernardino County quickly scorched 250 acres in Fontana and triggered a voluntary evacuation of about 100 homes situated near a Buddhist temple.
The National Weather Service posted a red-flag warning for much of Southern California Wednesday in anticipation of the kinds of hot, dry Santa Ana winds that fanned a disastrous series of fires in San Diego County a year ago.
A 400-acre brush fire in Moab, Utah, was also forcing evacuations Wednesday. The Salt Lake Tribune said officials believe the fire in the Matheson Wetlands Preserve was either started accidentally or was intentionally set.
"It is not a campfire-type of area, so it is suspicious," said Jason Curry, a spokesman for the Utah Department of Natural Resources. The Deseret News said about 200 people who were either camping or staying a motel in the wilderness were forced to leave.
Dry brush and cottonwood trees were fueling the fire.